Wasps are not all aggressive and out to sting you the moment you see them or they see you! Some wasps are actually beneficial to your garden because they eat other pests. And, some wasps do not even have stingers, and many only sting their prey unless something or someone threatens them or their home.
It is typical to be scared of anything that flies around looking like it may sting you. And the worst reaction is to run or flail around and bat at it! No matter if they are non-aggressive types, this behavior will cause them to feel endangered and they will sting you, even out of character! Once you have threatened any of the social types of wasps, they will release a pheromone that will alert others to come to their rescue or the rescue of the hive. This is why it seems that if you kill one a whole swarm will come after you, because they will since they have a silent security alarm among the colony.
Many times one of the most common social wasps that will sting you, are mistaken for bees. Yellow jackets are not bees, they are a social wasp. They will definitely sting you and send out that security alarm pheromone to alert the rest of the colony to come help alleviate the danger. The huge difference between bees and wasps such as yellow jackets is that they can sting you multiple times once they feel threatened. They do not lose their stinger as bees do. Yellow jackets are the ones that interrupt your picnics and will get into your soda cans or food, and will also get into your face and land on you. If you do not threaten them or freak out, they most likely won't sting you. But staying perfectly still while a huge yellow and black wasp sits on your for a sniff or drink of water, is pretty super human!
Other social wasps who live in colonies and are prone to sting people and pets, include: yellow jackets, hornets, and paper wasps among the most common. All of these live in colonies or groups, they can be in ground or build nests in your eves and holes in metal. If you have any of these nests too close to your home or populated areas of your property, it is wise to contact a professional pest control company, as these social wasps can become very aggressive very quickly and you could be attacked by hundreds or thousands, if it is a large colony. And remember they can repeatedly sting you without losing their stingers.
Solitary wasps are those who live alone, dig a single hole for themselves to live and to hunt for prey. These are not dangerous, they are hunters that are not interested in your food or stinging you, unless you disturb their home or threaten them directly. These wasps are more interested in finding and stinging their prey. They seek out their prey, usually to lay their eggs as a parasite to another garden pest.
There are two types of solitary wasps: Hunting wasps like the Bembix, Golden Digger Wasp, Cicada Killer, Tarantula hawk, and the black and yellow mud dauber. Parasitic wasps also look for their specific prey, but only because they want to lay their eggs on them. Parasitic wasps include the very common blue-winged wasp that you may see flying close to the ground, seeking out grubs to lay their eggs in.
If you notice solitary wasps and they are not where you will disrupt their hunting, it is best to leave them alone. They rid your garden and yard of other pests that can wreak havoc to your garden or landscape. But if you feel like you cannot live peacefully together with these wasps, it is still the best option to contact a pest control company to remove or kill them.
If you have an infestation of wasps, we can help you get rid of the through our pest control services. If you have non-aggressive, solitary wasps and you can safely live with them, it is an integral part of the natural ecosystem. If you have aggressive social wasps that are too close for comfort then definitely call your local pest control company for professional removal.